Minolta AF 28-135mm F4-4.5 A-mount lens review by Amateur Sony Shooter

reviewer#8961 date: Apr-25-2011
sharpness: 3.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 2
overall: 3.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 18-250
price paid:CAD $200
positive:Colour, AF speed, built, CA control
negative:soft edge, weight,
comment:I recently bought a used Minolta 28-135/4.0-4.5 lens, the famous almost-G "secrete handshake" lens. This lens has been extensively reviewed and praised (artaphot and dyxum here). I am using the lens on A55, with intension to go FF one day.

My initial impression is very positive: big (72mm), heavy and well built, zoom ring is very smooth, AF is really fast, outdoor test shots (at f8) is really sharp, colour is so richly rendered, CA (PF) is surprised well controlled - it's still there but not worse than many modern lenses, correctible in PP.

Upon further test (compare with my Sigma 18-250 travel zoom), its weakness revealed: 1) at 28mm, the edge softness at wider aperture is very noticeable, to achieve good edge sharpness I need to stop down to f8-11; 2) at 135mm end, center image is also very soft, again I need to stop down to f8-11. I also tested it on A850, the softness still there, actually more so at 28mm. Maybe I didn't get a great copy but even at f11, image is still not as sharp as my Sigma travel zoom. Likely I will sell it.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 203
  • sharpness: 4.63
  • color: 4.83
  • build: 4.80
  • distortion: 4.41
  • flare control: 3.44
  • overall: 4.42
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